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The Book of Fate [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Brad Meltzer , Scott Brick
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 2 2008
"Six minutes from now, one of us would be dead. None of us knew it was coming."

So says Wes Holloway, a young presidential aide, about the day he put Ron Boyle, the chief executive's oldest friend, into the president's limousine. By the trip's end, a crazed assassin would permanently disfigure Wes and kill Boyle. Now, eight years later, Boyle has been spotted alive. Trying to figure out what really happened takes Wes back into disturbing secrets buried in Freemason history, a decade-old presidential crossword puzzle, and a two-hundred-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson that conceals secrets worth dying for.

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From Publishers Weekly

When you've got a jaw-dropping plot that includes a secret 200-year-old Masonic code map hidden somewhere under Washington, D.C., plus a top aide to a former U.S. president who's killed in an assassination attempt in chapter one, but then is discovered alive and kicking in Malaysia in chapter two, you need all the skill and professionalism you can muster to avoid overkill. Luckily, Meltzer's latest bestseller has Scott Brick, a solid veteran narrator who reads every word as though he believes it, adding fresh nuance to characters who range from a Bill Clintonesque ex-president named Leland F. Manning—now making more money as a public speaker and fund-raiser than he ever did in the White House—to the formerly dead Ron Boyle and especially Wes Holloway, a tragic figure who might remind listeners of Ronald Reagan's press secretary James Brady. Holloway, wounded and disfigured by the lunatic who tried to kill Manning but apparently hit Boyle, is at the center of most of Meltzer's hyperactive hyperbole, and Brick helps build a strong foundation by making him both touching and believable. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Wes Holloway, a hotshot presidential aide, is wounded in an assassination attempt that kills the president's close friend. Eight years later, the dead man reappears, disfigured but very much alive and apparently stalking the former president. Wes thinks he can figure out what's going on, but to do so he must decipher a two-century-old code and penetrate the secrets of Masonic history. From his first novel, The Tenth Justice (1997), through his sixth, Identity Crisis (2005), Meltzer has served up exciting thrillers that take readers behind the scenes of American politics. The pattern doesn't change this time. Like the television series The West Wing, Meltzer's novels focus on the political people the public never sees and tells the stories we never hear. He could be accused here of jumping on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon, but that wouldn't really be fair. He's too good a writer to waste his time imitating someone else's work, and this novel is much more skillfully written--and far more plausible--than Dan Brown's tedious best-seller. The characters are genuine human beings--not all that common in the world of high-concept thrillers--and the plot fluidly integrates historical fact and fiction, which is even less common. Fans of thrillers that reach far back into history will be, well, . . . thrilled. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What would be surprising to readers would be a new thriller about the highest levels of government that did not include dishonesty, self-dealing, and double-crossing. So this novel doesn't surprise. Mr. Meltzer tries hard to put some freshness into his book by dreaming up a deluded crazy assassin who was trained as a sniper because of his unusual skills, and adding interesting historical references in a couple of places. But the book doesn't stand out among the genre, mostly because several of the plot premises don't make a lot of sense.

Within a few pages, you find out that former wet-behind-the-ears presidential aide, Wes Holloway, had his face disfigured in an assassination attempt on the president, Leland Manning, during a re-election campaign stop at a NASCAR race event, where the president lost his best friend, Ron Boyle, in the shooting. Eight years later, Wes is still working for the former president and stumbles onto Boyle (whose face has been transformed by plastic surgery) backstage during a speaking event by Manning in Malaysia. Boyle bolts, and Wes is left with a lot of uncomfortable questions about what's going on. Surprisingly, Wes doesn't say a word to Manning, but begins to check into what's going on.

Wes's quiet investigation parallels a desperate search by two shadowy figures for Boyle, who follow Wes in hopes of locating Boyle that way. A third figure introduces us to the assassin, Nicholas (Nico) Hadrian, who has been fed a conspiracy theory about manipulation by the Masons to help satan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Amazing Book Dec 7 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
How far would you go to uncover a secret? What if the secret was so huge, so incredible, that it would destroy your life and the lives of all those around you? What if uncovering this secret would destroy the foundations upon which the world was built? How far would you go?

Wes Holloway is a presidential aide to US President Leland Manning. Having caused a scheduling error, Deputy Chief of Staff Ron Boyle missed his meeting with the President and is pissed at Holloway. Trying to smooth things over, Wes invites Boyle into the Presidents limo as it travels to a NASCAR promotional event. No one can predict how the event will end; but it will end in blood.

When Nico, a man bent on uncovering the secrets of the Masons that have infected the White House, takes a shot at President Manning, he does two things: disfigures Wes Holloway and kills Ron Boyle. At least, that is what everyone thinks. Eight years later, when Holloway, still a presidential aide, sees Boyle back stage at one of Manning's speeches, his life is turned upside down.

Though no one believes him, Wes knows that Boyle is back. For what purpose, he cant' know. But when Wes begins to dig, he discovers a secret that will shake the foundation upon which the
United States was built. Wes suspects that Manning invited Boyle behind stage that day to wait for him, that Manning is involved with a group called The Three.

Free Masons are an organization older than time. What started as a group of free masons who built structures became an organized secret society that uses secrets, symbols and mystery to gain power. Only the elite can become a Free Mason, only the most powerful. Has President Manning fallen under their spell like other
US Presidents before him?

Why is Boyle back?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  262 reviews
83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge caveat should come with this book Sept. 19 2006
By Brian Baker - Published on
I've enjoyed Meltzer's work in the past, and I have to admit that the title grabbed me. Further, the blurb on the inside jacket really piqued my interest. This book sounded like a combination of "National Treasure" and "All the President's Men", with a hint of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. I quote from the inside book jacket: "The Book of Fate holds everyone's secrets. Especially the ones worth dying for. The Book of Fate. What does it say about you?"

Well, after reading this book, I don't have the foggiest notion what that blurb's supposed to mean. I don't even have any idea what the Book of Fate is.

This book turns out to be simply a political conspiracy book, a pale imitation of a Baldacci book, and nowhere near as good. I have absolutely no idea at all what the title refers to, there's no Jeffersonian or Masonic history in here worth mentioning, and whatever that blurb's talking about never takes place. Maybe the blurb and title were meant for some other book and got mixed up in the computer; who knows?

The plotting is pedestrian. The characters are unsympathetic; I didn't care one bit about any of them. The "conspiracy" was so contorted I couldn't even follow it. And didn't even care. This was a very clumsy book.

1.5 stars, and I'm being generous with that.
56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars garbage Oct. 13 2006
By clifford - Published on
I have read all of Meltzers books and have to say that I am shocked at just how bad Book Of Fate is. Meltzer has a lot of talent. Its apparent if you read his earlier books. Sadly it is greatly mis-spent here.

The Book of Fate has so many holes it is difficult to point to them all. From Wes, the main characters disfiguring involvement in an assassination attempt on a future president to the "three", a group of law enforcement officers who pull off evil escapades far beyond belief.

The whole story is a house of cards. One damnably idiotic silly plot strain stacked upon another and bringing it to a point in the end that is almost laughable. I wonder if Meltzer sketched out the story before starting on this book, or if he just had some idea and it built momentum as he wrote. Either way, its a disaster. I cant think of an author actually penning out the ideas for this book and saying "hmmmmm, this is a good idea."

The worst thing is Meltzers use of the Da Vinci code phenomena. He plops in a few bits of cryptic gobley gook pertaining to Thomas Jefferson and the Masons, only it leads nowhere at all.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. I was totally looking forwards to reading it, and ended with thoughts of disgust.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise from first book Dec 29 2009
By Peteris Mikelsons - Published on
This was the first book I got my hands on from Brad Meltzer. This was given to me by my friend. He said that book was fine.
I fell in love with it in first pages. This book is great if you like mystery, secrets, action and stories about Freemasons. Brad will take you spinning in the mystery through out the book. It will keep you up at night time and it will be hard to put down. Really recomend it to people who like mysteries and Freemason stories. After this book I started to read more about Freemasons. Also I thing Meltzer has done a good job on research for this book.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the book of redirect Nov. 25 2006
By Mom of (almost) 2 - Published on
I read Brad Meltzer's book "Zero Game" and loved it. I just finished "The Book of Fate" (easy read - quick to get through) and found that the title and masonry dropping left a lot to be desired.

In the author's notes on page 509 Brad said his information about freemasons are based on three years of research. If he said 30 minutes... I might believe it. There was little mention of fate or masons throughout the book. It almost seemed that Meltzer knew that a lot of freemason stuff is coming out with Dan Brown soon and wanted to jump on the bandwagon ahead of Dan. It feels like he wrote this book and then later came back and added a few freemasons things in to create more buzz.

Brad should stick with politics and interplay. He knows politics. He seemed way over his head trying to be the next Dan Brown. He should refrain from making profound statements about life - there is simply no gravity. He should write about things he knows about.

Saying that... was the book fun? Yes - but Brad should stop the pity angle with his main character... it was overplayed. Was the plot worth it? Not really. Too simple in a very complicated arena of intelligence (another area that Brad only seemed to understand just a little). Would I recommend "The Book of Fate"? Change the mason draw (since there isn't much at all about freemasons) and the title.. and then maybe just for fun. But definitely read "The Zero Game."
56 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty fair read..... Sept. 6 2006
By Robert Busko - Published on
I'm always amazed at the disconnect between us nonprofessional book reviewers with our paid counterparts. Some of the early reviews of Meltzer's The Book of Fate are less than stellar. However, from the still very few reviews from real readers, The Book of Fate seems to have some redeeming value.

President Leland Manning and his entourage are attending the 4th of July NASCAR race. In the Presidential limo is Wes Holloway, a cocky, hotshot Presidential aide and center character of this story. Also in the limo is Ron Boyle, the President's oldest friend. Before they complete their visit, Ron Boyle is dead and Wes Holloway is disfigured.

Fast forward eight years. Wes is still working for the former President. On a junket to Malaysia Wes spots a man he takes for Ron Boyle, supposedly dead eight years earlier. It is this chance spotting that send Holloway on a fast paced and suspenseful adventure.

Meltzer who has such hits as Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, may not quite hit one out of the park with The Book of Fate. However, it is a good read. Meltzer sprinkles enough suspense throughout the pages that he keeps you turning the pages. The story may be a little predictable in places but keep'll get better. The addition of secret codes and mysterious places adds to the atmosphere of the book. Masonic contrivance? You decide. I thought it worked.
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